‘Alien’ Lobster Discovered In Nova Scotia

A fisherman in Nova Scotia was stunned by an unusual lobster that recently appeared in one of his traps, as the crustacean exhibited a smaller, secondary claw, reminiscent of the creature in Alien.

The strange lobster was caught earlier this year by Shelburne County fisherman Clifford Vanbuskirk, according to the Coastguard. The lobster possessed a double claw on one side, with a smaller, seemingly non-functional appendage growing out of the side of one of its forward claws.

As IFLScience points out, repetition of body parts isn’t uncommon in segmented animals like lobsters. Certain animals, like arthropods, are constructed of a liner series of repeating parts, each of which is governed by a set of regulatory genes. These genes determine which appendages grow upon which segment, and in cases where a genetic signaling error occurs, abnormal appendages, such as the lobster’s Alien-like claw, can develop.

Genetic abnormalities are also responsible for the development of lobsters that have been found worldwide, exhibiting unique coloration schemes. As the Inquisitr previously reported, a 14-year-old girl from Maine caught an exceedingly rare blue lobster this summer. Only one in two million lobsters displays such a coloring, the result of a genetic defect that causes the animal to produce too much of a particular protein. Other lobsters that have shown up in traps have sported yellow, two-toned, or even calico shells in some rare instances.

Earlier this year, a fisherman in California managed to catch a stunningly large lobster, which weighed nearly 12 pounds. Believed to be almost 70 years old, the lobster narrowly avoided a dinner plate, as fisherman Forrest Galante chose to instead turn the crustacean over to a nearby marine center. Believing that the unusual lobster would provide unique benefits to the local marine ecosystem, staff at the center urged Galante to release the animal, which eventually was returned to the Pacific Ocean at an undisclosed location.

Though it is difficult to determine the exact age of a lobster, scientists have estimated that the arthropods could live longer than 70 years in the wild. The largest specimen ever caught weighed 44.1 pounds, and much like the Alien-clawed lobster, hailed from Nova Scotia.

[Image: Clifford Vanbuskirk via the Coastguard]

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